Philippine President Duterte halts purchase of 16 Canadian helicopters

Philippine President Duterte halts purchase of 16 Canadian helicopters

Philippine President Duterte halts purchase of 16 Canadian helicopters

The helicopter deal is worth an estimated $300 million and was quietly facilitated by Canadian Commercial Corp., a Crown corporation whose role includes selling Canadian-made military equipment to foreign governments.

He also directed the military not to buy arms anymore "from Canada or from the United States because there is always a condition attached". "We can not use it for anti-insurgency because if it is used against the Filipino rebels, they will not sell it", he said.

International Trade Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne is ordering a review of the planned sale of 16 412EPI helicopters to the Philippine military amid concerns about the country's human rights record.

The government initially defended the deal, saying the helicopters would only be used for disaster relief and search-and-rescue missions, and that the sale would support upwards of 1,000 jobs in the Montreal area. "Somehow we will look for another supplier", the President said during a press conference in Davao City.

"I'm buying helicopters because I want to finish them off", said Duterte, referring to Muslim and communist rebels along with Islamic militants in the country's volatile south.
It's based on the reality on the ground.

Gen. Restituto Padilla, chief of plans at the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), said the helicopters would be used for internal security operations apart from deployment in search-and-rescue and disaster relief missions.

"The president's troubling comments only underscore the confusion and contradictions that have emerged recently on the intended end use of the helicopters", said a spokesperson for Champagne on Friday. He also mentioned his support for U.S. President Donald Trump, whom he met during the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Leaders' Meeting previous year. Human rights groups have reported much higher death tolls and accused law enforcers of carrying out extrajudicial killings and of setting up crime scenes to make the victims appear to have fought back.

Trudeau said then that he raised concerns about human rights abuses and extrajudicial killings in Duterte's anti-drug campaign during a meeting with the Philippine president. "People just don't understand", said Duterte.

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